Arts Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet's Sylvia
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It was the vision of choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton to create ‘a grand ballet’ from the past, calling upon both myth and legend in order to craft a little piece of the Golden Age amongst our often less than lustrous lives. Wednesday saw the opening night of David Bintley’s 2009 revival for the Birmingham Royal Ballet, highlighting his unmatched skill for immersing ‘real people’ into a truly fantastical world. Moving between the world of Ancient Greece and Count Guiccioli’s Gatsby-style Garden Party, Bintley draws the classical world ever closer to the audience, having his 1930s guests play dress up with helmets and shields as both an introduction and ending to the ballet. This frame exposes tensions seen across both ages, as the lecherous Count is seen to be just as savage as his Grecian counterpart (Tyrone Singleton), whilst the fearless Diana (Celine Gittens) is just as fierce, scorning her husband as riding in on a horse the heroic hunter in Act III. It is the journey of servants Amynta and Sylvia however that proves the most rewarding, as romance is shown to act as an irresistible force that can conquer all nature.
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Providing romance, history, comedy, athleticism and sheer artistry; for those wishing to time travel, Sylvia offers countless ways to escape.
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Sylvia ran until 27th June at the Birmingham Hippodrome. For more information please visit www.brb.org.uk.